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Change drive hopes to provide MedicAlert bracelets for children in need

POSTED April 13, 2017 6:30 p.m.

The Turlock Lions Club has been donating to MedicAlert for years in order to provide life-saving medical identification bracelets for children who may be unable to afford them, but now the group is calling on the community to help the cause.

Lions Club member Conrad Renteria was traveling through the East Coast last summer when he heard a local radio station talking about a change drive, and, thinking about funds needed for MedicAlert bracelets in Turlock, decided to utilize the tactic back home. The concept is simple: those hoping to raise funds stand on the street and ask passing vehicles to donate whatever change they may have toward the charity.

“Our clubs around here already donate to MedicAlert, so we thought why not ask the community?” said Renteria. “We hope to just get whatever amount of change we can. Every bit helps.”

According to Renteria, there are about 500 children in Turlock and the surrounding area who are in need of a MedicAlert bracelet, but are unable to afford one. Depending on the style of bracelet, the identification pieces range in price from $25 to over $100.

The bracelet serves as an information link between its owner and emergency responders during medical emergencies and other times of need, informing medics on what type of allergies the owner may have. Each is inscribed with the client’s medical conditions, medications, allergies, MedicAlert member number and the organization’s telephone number. If a customer who is found unconscious is wearing a MedicAlert ID, the call center provides first responders with important information about the person’s health condition.

Renteria, whose nephew is allergic to peanuts, understands just how important it is for others to be aware of children’s allergies.

“There are so many allergies in this area, so donating change to this cause could help save a life,” he said.

Members of the Turlock Lions Club will be collecting change on the corners of Countryside Drive and Monte Vista Avenue and Countryside Drive and Fulkerth Road from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on May 6. All of the event’s proceeds will go toward purchasing Medic Alert bracelets for children in the area. Those who would like to donate to the cause prior to the event may visit www.turlock1210lions.org or contact Renteria at 209-277-1612.

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